Canadian Plastics

Japan to make plastic waste recycling mandatory for large corporate users

The Japanese government wants to make the recycling of plastic materials used at offices and factories mandatory from April 2022, with small companies excluded from the proposal.

October 21, 2020   Canadian Plastics

The Japanese government plans to make the recycling of plastic materials used at offices and factories mandatory from April 2022 at the earliest to increase the low recycling rate for plastic waste resulting from corporate activities.

As reported by Kyodo News and other outlets, the government plans to submit a bill to oblige companies to recycle their plastic waste in the ordinary parliament session next year. Small firms will be excluded from the policy, reports say.

Japan generated approximately 8.91 million tons of plastic waste in 2018, with 4.62 million tons of that coming from the corporate sector, and most of it was incinerated. This latest proposal is part of the government’s plan to cut disposable plastics waste by 25 per cent by 2030.

An expert panel has endorsed the proposal by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Environment Ministry, the Kyodo News said.

Under the plan, large waste generators will be required to separate plastics from other trash and hand it over to a recycling company. Even though small firms will be exempted from the obligation, they will be asked to step up recycling efforts.

The Japanese government has already decided earlier this year to fully recycle about 4.29 million tons a year of plastic waste generated by households. Some municipalities still do not have a system to collect plastic packaging waste, such as food trays and bottles, while items like toys and stationery are mostly incinerated or dumped at landfills.


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